Criminal Justice

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Criminal justice students listening to guess speaker
If you have a passion for helping others, the Criminal Justice Program welcomes you! Chris Cozzolino

The study of criminal behavior and law enforcement is more sophisticated than ever before—and at College of Western Idaho (CWI), we are preparing many students to start a career in this exciting field. In our Criminal Justice program, you will discover and appreciate complex issues in legal studies, sociology, political science, psychology, arrest, and search and seizure. Our goal is to prepare you to pursue a career in local, state, and federal law enforcement, court administration, victim services, and corrections.


The Criminal Justice Program provides students a knowledge of the criminal justice system, creates inspirational and professional leadership through classroom guidance and real-world opportunities, dispels myths, broadens perspectives, and produces educated, well-rounded, criminal justice professionals, and informed members of the community.

What You Will Learn to Do

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the major components of the criminal justices system, theoretical perspectives of crime causation, empirical findings, and historical trends in criminal justice.
  • Understand basic research methods in criminal justice, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation of crime data.
  • Respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and the scientific approach to solve problems related to criminal behavior and mental processes.
  • Understand and apply psychological and sociological principles to personal, social, and legal issues.
  • Weigh evidence, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of the law and criminal justice as a discipline.

Additional Opportunities

In addition to learning in the classroom, the criminal justice program provides students with opportunities such as:

  • Engagement with Guest Speakers from the community
  • Networking with community agencies
  • Participation in Annual Social and Human Relations Department Symposium
  • Service Learning
  • Internship

Respectful Community

College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

CWI Instructor, Vickie Gooch

CWI Adjunct Faculty, Vickie Gooch, helped chair an operation with Idaho State Police to save six women in Boise from human trafficking.

Students in Chris Cozzolino's Criminology class vising Juvenile Corrections Center in Nampa

Tour provides students the opportunity to see first-hand how juveniles are living, learning, and working toward release and reintegration into the community.

Giving Tree gifts

CWI’s annual giving tree collects over 600 gifts for children in need in the Treasure Valley.

Child wearing a Santa ht

Unwrapped gifts will be collected on campus through Dec. 9 to help bring holiday cheer to children in the Treasure Valley.

Samantha Grapes, College of Western Idaho's Staff of the Month for September 2021

Congratulations to Senior Coordinator of Course and Curriculum Management, Samantha Grapes, named CWI’s Staff of the Month for September 2021.

Christmas tree with lights and ornaments

Brighten the holiday season for children in the Treasure Valley by donating gifts to the College’s annual Giving Tree.